The Launching Chains of

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

A waterfall of black chains

looms behind the man in the stovepipe hat.

Cigar. Wrinkled clothes. This is

Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Who could not stop working. Slept

and ate at the shipyard.

The largest ship in the world.

Driven to outdo himself.

Fashioned from iron plate and

powered by three separate means.

Able to sail to Ceylon and back

without refueling. Fated

to lay the Atlantic cable, the India cable.

Untouched in size for forty years.

The Great Leviathan. The Little Giant,

Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Builder of tunnels, ships, railroads, bridges.

Engineer and Genius of England.

He should have built churches, you know.

Everything he prayed for came true.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Photograph from the National Portrait Gallery, London